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Bernie Sanders at Moda 7 PM

System change, not climate change. Bernie Sanders comes to Portland at the Moda Center. By involving and not distracting one another, we become people of hope.
America needs a political revolution! The wealthiest 400 have more wealth than 150 million. 95\% of the income gains since 2000 have gone to the top 1\%. Democracy has become an oligarchy or plutocracy with checks and balances being replaced by revolving doors. Sen Sanders is not a cardboard politician who only says what people want to hear and what conforms to the script. As Sanders stopped the Post Office from closing 80 bulk mail centers, he could help bring tax justice and reverse the perversions of endless war and free trade agreements at the expense of labor and the environment.

Unlike a chair, an idea can be shared by a whole people. The strength of the Democrats is the folly of the Republicans. Sanders could lead us to a post-fossil, post-growth and post-autistic economy where work is redefined and shared, health and education are rights not privileges and the trickle-down neoliberal/neofeudal myths leading to exploding inequality, cynicism, nihilism and resignation are abandoned.

Warren Buffet would pay more federal income tax than his secretary. The $11 trillion in tax havens would be returned to counter the revenue crisis. Taxes on capital gains wouldn't be half personal income taxes. The $118K cap on social security tax liability would disappear like a distant star and public spirit, trust between the generations, would return. The education paradigm would slowly shift away from the huckster mentality to the sharing mentality. Go Bernie Go!

Here's a link to the RSA Animate presentation of Changing Education Paradigms:


homepage: homepage: http://www.freembtranslations.net
address: address: www.openculture.com

Bringing people together 10.Aug.2015 10:40


30,000 people flood the Portland Moda center to hear Bernie Sanders speak (15,000 in Seattle the day before and Monday he is in LA)

A report on this huge Portland draw by Mr Sanders is on his website:  https://berniesanders.com/press-release/bringing-people-together

Bernie Quote: "There is no candidate who will fight harder to end institutional racism in this country and to reform our broken criminal justice system,"

Bernie Sanders’ Bid for President: What Would Eugene Debs Think? 10.Aug.2015 14:44

repost (Freedom Socialist Party)

Bernie Sanders' Bid for President: What Would Eugene Debs Think?

 link to www.socialism.com

It's clear why fed-up voters are attracted to Bernie Sanders. He rails against the billionaires and calls for a U.S. political revolution. Who doesn't want to end the rule of banksters and CEOs? Who doesn't want to stop the corporate harvesting of all things profitable at the expense of people and the planet? Who doesn't want to hear the needs of working people promoted for a change?

Sanders' self-professed hero is U.S. revolutionary socialist Eugene V. Debs. As a Socialist Party candidate, Debs ran for president five times in the early 1900s, twice gaining over 900,000 votes. But Debs understood that workers and the poor need a party independent of the duopoly of power. In a 1904 speech, he said:

The Republican and Democratic parties ... are the political wings of the capitalist system and such differences as arise between them relate to spoils and not to principle.
With either of these parties in power one thing is always certain and that is that the capitalist class is in the saddle and the working class under the saddle.
... The ignorant workingman who supports either of these parties forges his own fetters and is the unconscious author of his own misery.
In contrast, Sanders is running as a Democrat; he has chosen to hitch his wagon to the overlords in the saddle. He has promised to support whoever wins the Democratic primary. In Congress, he votes with the Democrats 98 percent of the time, and he consistently supports their presidential candidates.

His function in this election is the same as left-identified Democratic presidential contenders like Jesse Jackson, Dennis Kucinich, and others before him. It is to bleed off protest against the two-party chokehold over U.S. politics and to make sure that unionists and progressives once again vote — against their own interests — for a Democrat acceptable to big business.

And what about Sanders' actual record? It's seriously at odds with his image.

Wall Street — Sanders promises to reform Wall Street. But this can't be done through tweaks such as taxing certain financial transactions, as Sanders proposes. Given the devastating power they wield over people's lives, the banks need to be nationalized under workers' control! Also, Sanders aims his anti-corporate fury almost entirely against Republicans, while giving a pass to Democratic friends of finance capital.

War — Sanders accepts the U.S. role as World Cop. In Congress, he has voted to fund nearly every imperialist military action by the U.S., from Iraq and Somalia to Afghanistan and Yugoslavia. He refuses to denounce Israel's war on Palestinians, and endorsed the sanctions that killed over a million Iraqi civilians.

Labor — Sanders' version of defending U.S. workers is of the jingoistic, "America First" variety. He points to immigrants and foreign workers as the source of job loss, rather than the bosses' policies of speedup, automation, and the global "race to the bottom." But, internationally, an injury to one truly is an injury to all! Even when it comes to U.S. workers, Sanders hasn't stepped up to the plate when it counts. Earlier this year, he didn't resist when the Democratic governor of Vermont, his ally, pushed through a budget that meant cutting hundreds of union jobs.

Civil rights — The Vermont senator has supported racist federal legislation, like Bill Clinton's Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which props up the prison-industrial complex. He has not championed the Black Lives Matter movement or other groups aimed at ending police murders and the criminalization of youth of color.

In his campaign speeches, this supposed socialist generally has refused to pinpoint capitalism as the problem and socialism as the solution. While more and more voters are identifying their affiliation as "independent," Sanders is headed in the opposite direction.

He excels at rousing populist oratory, but considers Hillary Clinton, warmonger of U.S. foreign policy, his "good friend." Sanders is the man for the job for the beleaguered Democratic Party in these times of growing anger and dissent. Not as president, mind you, but as the latest in a series of perennial false hopes for a kinder, gentler party — and social system.

On the socialist Left, there are groups, like the Socialist Alternative of Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, who give Sanders direct or indirect support, ignoring or downplaying the ugly parts of his record and wishing away his longtime collusion with the Democratic Party. This is no way to build a movement for lasting fundamental change.

What would be productive is left cooperation rather than competition on the electoral battlefield. By joining forces, it would be much more possible to give people opportunities to vote for bold, honest, radical opponents of the profit system and its ravages at home and abroad.

A big part of any joint anti-capitalist effort would have to be challenging the tangle of state and federal laws that keep Left and independent labor candidates off the ballot. And a possible outcome of such an effort could be the launch of a new national party to defend working people and the oppressed. The Freedom Socialist Party is for a national conference that could discuss these ideas and get something moving. And the sooner the better! U.S. voters need relief!

However, Single-Selection (Plurality") Forces Us To Have Two-Party 10.Aug.2015 16:26


I don't use the term "socialism" much because the corporate-controlled Western media has pretty much made it into a dirty word. It seems to mean different things to different people.

Anyway, we are effectively barred from having anything other than two parties because of single-selection voting (absurdly called "plurality" by the Ivory Tower "Election methods" (see the disaster on Wikipedia) academics who don't care). This is because of the spoiler effect (or you could say "Nader effect"). While there exists endless nonsense (and academic analysis that is absurd) about voting systems, there exists just one system that is simple enough to not require machines, and yet to neutralize the spoiler effect, and thus to end the two-party "system". See about simple score voting:

As for Bernie Sanders, if you look at his voting, his votes in the U.S. Senate have been about 90% awful. He will be like Obama on steroids! He might be 20% less awful than Hillary Clinton, but that is not saying much. It's not the candidates -- they are all terrible -- it is the voting system itself that is a disaster. And don't go looking for any real answers in Wikipedia!

Not "cause and effect" (plurality and two major parties) 17.Aug.2015 05:48

Mike Novack

When elections are decided by plurality (no run off, majority not required) the LONG TERM stable situation is two contending factions. But in the short term (and short term can mean a decade or two) it can be three or more depending on the preferences of the populace.

It isn't impossible (with "first past the post") for a third party to come into existence and possible grow to the point that it displaces one of the major two parties. It happened here in the US (the Republicans grew and displaced the Whigs) and in Britain (Labour grew and displaced the Liberals).

PLEASE --- this is NOT meant to be expressing an opinion in favor of "first past the post". But it is important to understand the reasons why this happens only rarely (under "first past the post") and to understand the conditions under which it does happen (when neither major party can adjust its coalition of interests to absorb the new burning issue). USUALLY one or both of the existing major parties can manage to adjust their coalition and so deprive the nascent third faction of support (example from out history -- how the Democrats 100 years ago shifted their coalition and so blocked the growth of the Socialists)

Adding "run off" (require a majority) doesn't help much as it has the same potential problems as "IRV without first checking for a Condorcet candidate/party". In other words, while usually safe enough if the eliminated candidate/party is to the outside, potentially dangerous when in between. And of course concepts like "inside" and "outside" only apply to a linear political spectrum. If the burning issues are very orthogonal to each other, all bets are off << but that applies to most methods of democracy >>